First of all, there are absolutely NO promotions for me for posting this, that I know of…
Second of all, I have to admit, I’ve been resistant to read, Lightweb, Darkweb. I’m not sure why. I mean, why wouldn’t I want to read the important reasons why I should protect my 2-year-old from technology? Why wouldn’t I want to read kind words from a man who has dedicated his life to the welfare of children?
As far as I know, Lightweb, Darkweb has not been on the NYT Best Sellers List, yet. No one has talked to me personally about Lightweb, Darkweb on the playground while I’ve been playing in the sandbox with my toddler. Occasionally, I read about Lightweb, Darkweb from Raffi on his Facebook page. I need those self-promotions of his. I need to be reminded that the internet is attractive and helpful, but also potentially addictive and dangerous, particularly to children–including my 2-year-old who already enjoys scrolling through photos on i-Phones and watching educational videos on YouTube.
So, I read Lightweb, Darkweb, and I’m glad. Why should YOU set aside precious time of yours to read this critical, Lightweb, Darkweb?
1. REMINDERS IN ONE LOCATION. Maybe you’ve read a snippet of a warning article here, or a line or two of research “THERE” against exposure to “screen time” for children. You don’t remember specifically where or when. You think to yourself, Well, if it was important enough, wouldn’t I hear about it everyday? Like I read about the critical epidemic of juvenile diabetes and obesity? Plenty of research is available in Lightweb, Darkweb. Data and research, warnings, in print about the dangers of screen time and exposure to the Internet, in one place. So, say for instance, when your pediatrician hands you a sheet of paper that says that up to 2 hours a day of screen time is okay, you can ask, “Why is your information different than what I’ve read?” (This really happened to me, but I didn’t have any backup research with me. Yes, I’m considering a different doctor’s office…)
2. NEW INFO TO CONSIDER. I didn’t know that an advanced country outlawed WiFi in schools until more research was available. I didn’t know that some people have been DIAGNOSED(!) with physical/neurological problems associated with WiFi. This is just some of the documentation that I need to reflect upon…It’s in the book, Lightweb, Darkweb. (Note to self: I need to reflect on how the Internet affects me personally, not just its dangers for my daughter…)
Don’t get me wrong. I heart my social media, like the joy I get from posting on Reverie of a Picture Book. Plus, due to Facebook, Mark and I owe our romance, in part, to social media; our paths crossed again, years after we first met in high school. Our daughter is one of the thrilling results.
Raffi, also, has great stuff to say about the Internet. The Internet is a great and powerful tool. His central theme is, “By acting now to reform [the Internet], we might,…be able to enjoy the best if the [Internet]” (69). It is important to hone this tool, and make sure the Internet continues to work for us, not the other way around.
3. BE PART OF THE SOLUTION, not part of the problem. Sure, we all have that uncle who refuses to get a cell phone, and it is impossible to get a hold of him. With experiences like this, we don’t want to refuse any technological tools that improve our own lives.
Perhaps, however, The Answer to these issues lies within YOU, a solution to the Darkweb that works for you and you need to share with us, with the world. Yep, I’m a dreamer, but I also believe my best dreams come true. (Afterall, I love picture books, and storytelling by Raffi). As Mohandas Gandhi is known to have said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed”.
Questions: What are the alternatives? What are we avoiding when we immerse ourselves in social media? What are we sheltering children from when we let them spend time in front of a video?
My daughter is two, and since the age of 10-months, she has learned over 40 sign language signs from videos, and she laughs at YouTube songs she first learned at library story time. Furthermore, I feel like I need her distracted by a video while I excuse myself to use the “powder room”. As I reflect, I know I also need this book to make sure I don’t give her a complete green light that Screen Time is an acceptable diversion from a vibrant life.
Lightweb, Darkweb, is not a red light against Social Media, screen time, and the Internet. Lightweb, Darkweb is an important yellow light of caution that we need to, as the full title suggests, “Reform Social Media Be4 It Re-Forms Us”.
The book Lightweb, Darkweb reaffirmed my need to declare occasional “No Video Days” in our home. Lightweb, Darkweb also prompted me to pray in that way that makes me available to being part of the solution. I don’t know how, I don’t know what it looks like, but I look forward to finding out for the children around us and the best in ourselves.